Cleveland Browns Help Deliver on a Dream

More Than a Field
Posted on 09/13/2022
Image of Browns at Buchtel“This is more than an athletic field. It’s much bigger than that. This symbolizes a belief in our students and in our community.” ~ Akron Public Schools Superintendent Christine Fowler Mack

The Cleveland Browns and Akron Public Schools (APS) kept to the timeline they laid out back in April, and today there is a brand new football field at Buchtel CLC on Copley Road. The groundbreaking came in April behind the middle and high schools. The ceremony was attended by dozens of Griffins and Buchtel students and featured Haslam Sports Group Executive Vice President/Partner J.W. Johnson, Browns defensive end Chase Winovich, Browns mascot Chomps and Mayor Daniel Horrigan.

Named after two legendary Buchtel coaches, the field will be known as M. Montague Buckner Field at Tim Flossie Stadium. Superintendent Fowler Mack, a former Griff’s basketball coach, says the names on the field and stadium are important and have special meaning. “This is for the community older than I, the community of my generation, and -- perhaps more importantly -- younger and future generations who really should know how much these two gentleman contributed to their futures.”

“And, it is so much more than a field,” Fowler Mack added. “It’s a visual reminder to our students that they’re worth it. They deserve to be in a state-of-the-art area developing and competing, and this community wants them to know they are surrounded by many people who support and want the best for them.”

APS is a partner with the Cleveland Browns Foundation’s Stay in the Game! Keep Learning, Every Day Network. This statewide initiative promotes the importance of school attendance and strives to put an end to chronic absenteeism. This turf installation by the Browns, one at Ellet CLC done in 2019 and 11 others they have done in Ohio, is aimed to encourage more students to participate in sports and attend class every day. The fields also highlight the Browns' dedication toward encouraging students to participate in youth and high school football and other sports such as soccer, which will also be played on the new turf.

APS Athletic Director Joe Vassalotti echoed something he said at the groundbreaking in spring. "It's fabulous to have one field on the east side at Ellet and now on the west side here at Buchtel.” He added, “All of our teams will benefit from this. At Ellet, we have football and soccer games that don't involve Ellet (teams), and that'll be the same here. We can use the field over and over again; it's awesome for the communities and the entire district."

A primary focus of the Browns’ field project is to offer youth educational tools through “outdoor classrooms,” which allow opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities that support attendance, school engagement and overall personal growth.

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Image of Browns at Buchtel Image of Browns at Buchtel
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Image of Browns at Buchtel Image of Browns at Buchtel
Image of Browns at Buchtel Image of Browns at Buchtel
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